• Vol. 29 No. 2, 189–193
  • 15 March 2000

Surgical Results of Intercondylar Fractures of the Adult Femur



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Introduction: Although surgical treatment of intercondylar fractures of the adult femur gives satisfactory results in the majority of cases, there are complications reported with operative management. We aim to analyse the surgical results of these cases performed in our institution and compare them to other reported series.

Materials and Methods: A total of 16 patients with intercondylar fractures of the femur were operatively treated from 1989 to 1997. The ages of these patients ranged from 24 to 77 years, with a mean age of 42 years. Average length of follow-up was 28 months. The fractures were classified according to AO classification. Twenty-five per cent of the fractures were significantly comminuted. They were internally fixed with various implants such as cancellous screw fixation, dynamic condylar screw plate, condylar blade plate and condylar buttress plate.

Results: Average time to full weight bearing was 12 weeks. Results of treatment were assessed according to the criteria described by Shelbourne. Eighty-three per cent of minimally comminuted fractures had a good result, but only 50% of significantly comminuted fractures did well.

Conclusions: We recommend the use of anterior midline approach and condylar buttress plate for very comminuted fractures. Infection, if detected early and treated aggressively could avoid a poor outcome. Elderly patients should benefit from internal fixation and earlier mobilisation.

Fractures of the intercondylar region of the femur often resulted from high velocity accidents. This would lead to increased comminution and involvement of the articular surfaces, making them a complex group of injuries to treat.

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